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Drop It

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Album Review

Trumpeter Corey Wilkes has established himself as one of the best creative improvising trumpeters — if not the best — in the modern era. His stunning work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Kahil El'Zabar's bands has cemented his place as the rising star on his instrument. This debut recording for Wilkes reflects his interest in the rhythm & blues style, both retro and contemporary. The presence of keyboardist Robert Irving III has a lot to do with how the music is conceived rhythmically, having been a nephew and bandmate in the late-period groups of Miles Davis. But as a composer and arranger, Wilkes holds close allegiance to the wonderfully inventive horn charts written by Herbie Hancock during the time of his combo that recorded the groundbreaking Mwandishi. Wilkes is also respectful of elders like Langston Hughes, as he adapts "The Trumpet Player" with the words of Hughes recited by Miyanda Wilson into a bluesy stew stirred by bassist Junius Paul. Hip-hop funk identifies the light swagger of "Sonata in the Key of Jack Daniels," while the hip, funky title cut internally shimmers via the Fender Rhodes of Irving, with an additional 11-minute live version plus vocals included as a closing track. The merging of old and new school is most evident on the lower light groove of "Touch," quite reminiscent of Benny Golson's classic "Killer Joe," while "Remy's Revenge" is a harder-edged two-chord modal number and "Ubiquitous Butterfly" is an out-and-out stomper. With alto saxophonist Jabari Liu and tenor saxophonist Chelsea Baratz, Wilkes conjures the breezy yet potent Mwandishi sound on the bright funk of "Return 2 Sender" and the neat tick-tock rhythms urging "Searchin'" onward. There's a sole R&B pop tune sung by Dee Anderson in a manner similar to Fontella Bass about a dirty old man, and seems unnecessary. A CD with mixed results that still holds much promise for the exceptional Wilkes, this purposeful recording may very well find a commercial audience well outside of the one Wilkes already owns. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Drop It

This is an unbelieveable work of art. Wilkes is the unique and plays like the giants of the past. I've experienced the sounds of Corey in a small setting in Chicago recently and he is outstanding. Drop IT is the start of a collection you will never forget.

Drop it

Corey WIlkes is a phenomenal Jazz player.. and this album is great. Very easy listening

Modern Jazz

The album as a whole is solid but i love the latter half more than the first 4, 5 Tracks.
It's when corey delves into the longer running tracks that he excels at most. l do however love the first track because its more of a poetry slam by one of my favorite artists/poets Ursula Rucker.

Drop It, Corey Wilkes
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jun 17, 2008

Customer Ratings